Eisenberger leads latest polls, though largest group of voters undecided

A Forum Research poll has former Mayor Fred Eisenberger leading the mayor's race in a contest that still features a significant proportion of undecided voters.
Fred Eisenberger is still the frontrunner to be Hamilton’s next mayor, according to the results of a new poll from Forum Research. Eisenberger has the support of 37 per cent of decided and leaning respondents, with Brad Clark in second at 25 per cent and Brian McHattie at 22 per cent. (Samantha Craggs/CBC)

A Forum Research poll done for the Hamilton Spectator has Fred Eisenberger leading a mayor's race that still has a third of respondents some 34 per cent of them yet to commit. 

According to the phone survey, Eisenberger leads by nine points over Brad Clark, with 26 per cent of the vote to the former mayor and 17 per cent for Clark's camp. Brian McHattie sits in third at 12 per cent in the Sept. 25 poll of 839 voters, a sample size that Forum says is considered accurate within 3.4 points above and below, 19 times out of 20. 

Former Hamilton Mayor Fred Eisenberger is leading an undecided city in a Sept. 25 poll. (Forum Research)
"By hewing a distinctly centrist course between the more conservative appeal of Brad Clark and Brian McHattie's progressive populism, Fred Eisenberger seems to have placed himself to advantage in the mayor's race, with a month still to go," said Forum Research president, Dr. Lorne Bozinoff, in a press release. "The large number of undecided will have to be whittled down, however."

The poll was conducted for the Hamilton Spectator free of charge, and can be viewed here

Numbers show that 11 per cent of Hamilton voters wouldn't vote for the three front-runners, and that approval ratings for Eisenberger, Clark and McHattie are 63, 53, and 50 per cent, respectively.

Aside from the front three, "some other candidate" was the only other group listed. They, collectively, polled at 11 per cent, and would include (in alphabetical order by last name) Michael Baldasaro, Ejaz Butt, Mike Clancy, Warrand Francis, Nick Iamonico, Crystal Lavigne, Michael Pattison, Phil Ryerson, Ricky Tavares.

Aside from the mayoral candidates, the poll also found that 20 per cent of voters said taxes were the most important election issue, followed by leadership (16 per cent), economic development (15 per cent), transit (13 per cent), and poverty (12 per cent). 

Of those who agree the city is in need of a transit plan, light rail transit (LRT) is the strong favourite, with 60 per cent preferring LRT over a 28 per cent group of rapid bus supporters. 

Candidate profiles also show Eisenberger's supporters are mostly men, renters, less affluent and likely NDP supporters. By contrast, Clark's supporters are older, Conservative voters who don't feel the city needs a transit solution, and voted for outgoing mayor, Bob Bratina, in the last municipal election. 

McHattie's support comes from the least wealthy, but best educated demographic.


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